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Park officials throw birthday parties for 57-year-old hippo

'Lu' the hippo given 'bread birthday cake' made for hippos

HOMOSASSA, Fla. – A more than 6,000-pound hippo got a birthday bash courtesy of Florida park officials.

Visitors and employees at Homosassa Springs state park on Thursday celebrated the 57th birthday of Lu, the hippo, with two parties.

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Students from several day care centers joined park staff in singing a birthday song for the hippo. Lu was also given a bread birthday cake made specifically for a hippo.

Lu, an African hippopotamus, was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1960 and has appeared in movies and television shows. He's been a fixture at Homosassa Springs since 1964, when the property was in private ownership.

Florida acquired the park site in 1989 and initially intended to move the hippo, but public support led state officials to allow the hippo to remain.